Samsung Gear VR — Is It Only Good for Watching Porn?

Like many folks around me, I was very skeptical before getting a Samsung Gear VR headset. Virtual reality is not something that many people think of when it comes to gaming or media consumption. However, when I saw the Gear VR at Best Buy, I thought to give it a shot because I knew if I didn’t like it, at least I would be able to return it.

After using it with my Galaxy Note 5 for a few weeks, I am ready to share my thoughts on Samsung’s first entry into the world of virtual reality. Like I did with my other post, I have divided this article into three parts. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much when I got the Samsung Gear VR. It looked cheap in photos and I wasn’t sure if the content would be good enough to justify the price tag. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I put it on for the first time.

Oculus Store

The oculus store had a lot more content than I was expecting and the more I used it, the more I realized that virtual reality isn’t just a gimmick. It is here to stay, and for some very good reasons. Samsung also included some apps of its own in the store for free such as Milk VR for watching 360 videos and a 360 browser (yes, you can watch YouTube videos on it). My favourite thing to do with the Gear VR was viewing 360 photos. Oculus did an awesome job in including virtual world tours.

Most games cost a bit more than what you are used to paying for in the Play Store, but I didn’t mind it. This is just a part of the deal if you’re an early adopter.

No Cables

The Gear VR is fully wireless. You don’t need to connect any cables to use it and that, in my opinion, is one of the best things about the Gear VR. You can obviously connect your headphones for a more immersive experience and plug your charging cable in to enjoy it without worrying about battery life, but that isn’t needed.

The Bad

The Screen

Though Samsung’s flagships in 2015 had some of the most pixel dense screens, I felt like the pixel density wasn’t enough for a great VR experience. It is not a fully immersive experience when you begin to see pixels while watching a video or looking at photos. It is not bad by any means, and content is still pretty sharp, but I’d love to see how far this technology can go. Maybe with the introduction of 4K displays, we’ll see an improvement in quality.

Build Quality

While I understand Samsung must have opted for a cheap feeling plastic to keep the costs down, I wasn’t very impressed with the packaging and build quality of the Gear VR. The headset felt like something you’d order on Alibaba and not from a manufacturer like Samsung. It reminded me of the Galaxy S3 and that is not a good thing.

I was also surprised to see that Samsung didn’t include a cleaning cloth. For a device with lenses where even a speck of dust can ruin the experience, not including a microfiber cloth was a very bad decision.

The Ugly

The Weight

Even with the lightweight plastic build, the Gear VR was just not comfortable enough for media consumption for a couple hours. One of the biggest use cases I thought of before I bought the Gear VR was Netflix. Netflix has a pretty decent app for the Gear VR, but it was a bummer to find out I couldn’t watch a full movie on it without having a headache. Now this might not be a deal breaker for you, but it was for me.

But, what about porn on the Samsung Gear VR?

Yeah… About that. It actually isn’t bad at all. I’d even go as far as saying it is one of the best ways to watch porn… If you can find high quality porn that is… But that’s a topic for another time (Hint: don’t pay for porn!).

Verdict:

While the Galaxy Wear VR is a huge step in the right direction, I don’t think the technology is quite there yet. Not until we have an abundance of 4k displays and the power to push those pixels.

If you’re an early adopter and you like playing games and watching porn, this should be a no brainer. Go ahead and get one. You won’t regret it.

Rating: 7/10


Originally published at www.zaeemsarwar.com on January 8, 2016.